Rocky View County, AB - Nine, three-year-old fillies, headed to the post Saturday afternoon at Century Downs Racetrack and Casino, vying for the top share of the $100,000 Shirley McClellan stake race. When the dust settled it was Wrangler Jewel, trained by Marie Brooking, who was able track down the heavily bet favourites Chaste Forever and Divine Art in the final steps of the race to take all the glory. In a race full of action highlighted by a blanket finish, the most memorable part of the race came immediately after the horses crossed the finish line.
As winning driver JF Gagne was returning to the winner’s circle with Wrangler Jewel, her trainer was galloping down the home stretch towards the winner’s circle whooping and hollering atop her outriding mount Leo to meet up with the winning duo. Marie Brooking has more than one set of responsibilities at the Century Downs racing oval in Balzac, Alberta. Not only can Marie be seen with Leo helping keep the drivers and trainers safe during the races, she is also there every morning by 6 a.m. to train her own small stable; a stable that includes two mini ponies, Leo the outrider horse, and a few up and coming race horses including stakes winner, Wrangler Jewel.
Wrangler Jewel owner, Dr. Maurice Stewart, enlisted the training services of Brooking, to put the finishing touches on Wrangler Jewel for her two-year-old campaign last year. In that campaign Wrangler Jewel banked over $40,000 in purse money and topped off the stakes season with a second-place finish in the Alberta Sire Stakes Super Finals (the top event for Alberta bred horses).
Going into the first major event of the 2022 stakes season most of the pundits had concluded that the Shirley McClellan stake would be won by either the Nathan Sobey trained Divine Art or the Kelly Hoerdt trained Chaste Forever. However, Marie’s confidence in her filly never waned and she was sure Wrangler Jewel was ready for top honours. After adding the winners share of the $100,000 record purse for the Shirley McClellan event to her earnings, Wrangler Jewel is quickly approaching the $100,000 mark herself. The next jewel Marie will try to put in Wrangler Jewel’s crown is the Alberta Diamond for three-year-old fillies with the first eliminations going July 2, 2022 at Century Downs